In dealing with the climate crisis, Nova Scotia needs to develop untapped renewable energy resources. These resources play a part in decarbonizing our provincial energy system, mostly by phasing out coal and fossil fuels.
Offshore wind is another energy source that could support our provincial climate goals. However, challenges arise from this new industry, mainly related to the environmental impacts from their development. From the EAC’s perspective, offshore wind power must be delivered to the grid like other renewable energy sources, but a comprehensive environmental and social analysis must also be established.
Read the EAC's position statement on offshore wind.
Comparative jurisdictional research
The federal and provincial governments have agreed on the terms of reference for a Regional Assessment of Offshore Wind Development in Nova Scotia that will provide information, knowledge and analysis regarding future offshore wind development activities and their potential effects. The committee for this assessment was appointed in March 2023, and they will do the assessment work over the next 18 months. To contribute to the current discussion on offshore wind, the EAC commissioned East Coast Environmental Law (ECEL) to complete a comparative jurisdictional research report that explores how offshore wind is assessed and regulated in Germany, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States.
Read the complete report from ECEL here, or read the report summary here.
The report focuses on whether and how the rules of comparative jurisdictions were intended to evaluate the sustainability of proposed offshore wind projects; and incorporate cumulative effects assessment into planning, assessment and permitting processes. It also offers suggested best practices for offshore wind development that could be beneficial for Nova Scotia.